Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘guns’ Category

Seed Newsvine

Reuters reports this afternoon that:

The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday responded to the deadliest shooting rampage in modern American history by passing legislation to help keep guns out of hands of the mentally ill.On a voice vote, the House sent the measure — which would be the first major gun control bill enacted since 1994 and bolster background checks for gun buyers — to the Democratic-led Senate for needed concurrence.

The bill was drafted in consultation with the 4 million-member National Rifle Association, the nation’s biggest gun-rights group, after a deranged gunman killed himself and 32 others in April at Virginia Tech university.

“I think the chances are very strong that we can get this passed in the Senate,” said Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, provided the legislation is not laden with amendments that gun rights backers find objectionable.

It is a start. Interestingly the NRA apparently participated in the drafting of this bill–has the leadership of the NRA finally come to their senses. Gun control does not mean depriving Americans of the right to own weapons. It does not mean that Americans cannot hunt or participate in the infantile sport of shooting at paper targets. Gun control doesn’t even mean that one is deprived of the right to join the militia. As I have blogged many times before, making it more difficult to place weapons in the hands of those that are likely to to harm to themselves and others reduces the probability that another Virginia Tech is imminent. Hooray for the courage of the House. Now will the Senate follow suit? Will the lame duck sign legislation that limits placing guns in the hands of the mentally incompetent? All I know is that it is a beginning. I for one will be watching for the outcome.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

Idaho and guns seem not to mix well. I don’t think my next vacation will be planned for Idaho. Need I say more?

clipped from www.reuters.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – At least four people were shot by a sniper in the town of Moscow, Idaho, CNN and local media reported on Sunday.
Moscow police confirmed there had been a shooting but declined to give any details on the phone.
CNN said two officers and two civilians were shot at around 1 a.m. PDT (0800 GMT) but their condition was not known.
At least 75 shots were fired and up to seven blocks were cordoned off, it added.
Local radio station KXLY said the shots, believed to be from a high-powered rifle, were shot from a Presbyterian church and targeted the town’s courthouse. It said on its Web site no more shots had been heard since 1 a.m.

  blog it

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

The most recent Gallup Poll (done before VT) indicates that the majority of Americans favor a combination of new legislation and stricter enforcement of existing gun control laws. The poll also indicates that only a minority of American homes (43%) indicate gun ownership, the majority of those households are in the South or rural areas of the United States. But why should I speak when the clip does a better job…

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

The clip below, while a bit old, presents an interesting and very funny take on gun control issues. Rock, for me, has the ability to take difficult issues and squeeze the most from each one. Found this one on You Tube posted about 8 months ago. Laugh with me!

Read Full Post »


Seed Newsvine

I know of no gun that up and walked itself into a building and began shooting, reloading and shooting some more by itself. That being said, it is a certainty that without the gun attached to the hand of the person doing the shooting there would be far less carnage in this world.Seung-Hui Cho was a well prepared assassin ten days ago. He was prepared to shoot at least one round every three seconds for as long as he was the only armed person in the building. I know, I know, wouldn’t it be just ducky if we had a concealed weapons law so that students or professors or the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker could have shot Cho before he did more damage. Or would that just lead to more carnage? I suggest the latter. The more guns the more gun violence. Cho would not be deterred by the fact that some bozo carried a weapon in his pants, around his ankle, or under his jacket. It would just have made the situation more interesting for him. He knew he was going to die anyway the cake was sliced.

The real question is why did the cops take over 5 minutes to enter the building. The Tribune article points out that since Columbine the police policy is that the first 4 officers that arrive on the scene of a mass shooting wait for nothing and storm in. Since Cho killed himself at the first recognition that the police were in the building think about how many more lives could have been saved if the armed police wearing body armor reacted more quickly. This speaks to the need for more and better training of university police forces as they would be the first responders to this type of crisis when it happens again.

clipped from www.chicagotribune.com
BLACKSBURG, Va. —
The bloodbath lasted nine minutes — enough time for Seung-Hui Cho to unleash 170 rounds from his two pistols, or about one shot every three seconds.
During that time, Virginia Tech and Blacksburg police spent three minutes dashing across campus to the scene. Then they began the agonizing process of breaking into the chained-shut building, which took another five minutes.
The five minutes police spent breaking into the building proved to be crucial. During that time, Cho picked off his victims with a hail of gunfire. He killed himself after police shot through the doors and rushed toward the carnage.
In addition to the 170 rounds Cho fired inside Norris, investigators found unused ammunition in the building, though Flaherty was unsure how much was left. Investigators have compiled 500 pieces of evidence from Norris Hall alone.

  powered by clipmarks blog it

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

Another case of a PERSON WITH A GUN KILLING PEOPLE WITHOUT GUNS. One has to wonder whether David Howard Thurm woke up in the morning with homicide on his mind, whether he went to his perfectly legal locked gun safe, removed his revolver from the perfectly legal gun safe, removed the appropriate trigger lock, and went on his shooting spree with his perfectly legal handgun.What possible excuse for this behavior will the unconditional Second Amendment gun nuts be able to produce that doesn’t ring with sanctimony? Oh, sure, guns don’t kill people…You can’t control what people might do with a gun…Regulate gun ownership and the criminals will still get their hands on guns. None of this rings with the absolute truth that had David Howard Thurm not had ready access to a revolver, a weapon that has, as its primary purpose, the function to kill or maim another human being, Laura Schoellmann would still be alive.

Schoellmann is the real hero in this story. She chose to protect her co-workers by assuring that they reached safety at the risk of her own life. Her selfless sacrifice, her commitment to the well being of others is the ultimate ethical act. David Howard Thurm, on the other hand, took his own life in the cowardly act of refusing to face responsibility for his actions. I wonder if he was a card carrying member of the National Rifle Association? I wonder how often he attended the Church of his choosing?

Come on Congress, the time for real gun control is NOW!

clipped from news.yahoo.com
HOUSTON – A man facing eviction from a luxury apartment complex shot and killed the manager and then himself after writing an e-mail to friends saying he had died, police said. At least two other people were injured.
Police said the gunman first shot a neighbor through his door, then reloaded his revolver and stormed the complex’s office, shooting the manager and pistol-whipping a man trying to serve the eviction notice, police said.
Frantic residents called the office to warn workers that a gunman was on his way to them. The manager, identified by her employer as Laura Schoellmann, warned co-workers to get out, and police credited her with saving lives before she was killed.

  powered by clipmarks blog it

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

It is a start in the right direction. If this truly becomes a bipartisan issue then a chance for fair and reasonable legislation may emerge. One of my hobby horses has been that we have had far too much partisanship over the past 12 years in this country. All that has served to accomplish has been to divide the nation. We cannot survive as a divided house. Representative government is not a one-way street. To work it requires a commitment to compromise. We now have two possibilities for bipartisan action in Congress, the Gonzales scandal and working to keep firearms out of the hands of mentally ill people is a real start. I anticipate the calming of America.

clipped from www.reuters.com
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Prompted by the Virginia Tech massacre, a U.S. Congress reluctant to tackle gun control may pass limited legislation to help keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, lawmakers and aides said on Sunday.
“Given the horror that happened at Virginia Tech, I think there’s a real chance of passing this,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, told “Fox News Sunday.”
A Republican leadership aide agreed, telling Reuters, “If there is a consensus, and it is in lieu of knee-jerk draconian measures, (the chances are) probably really good.”
Yet after it was determined that the Virginia Tech killer had been admitted earlier to a psychiatric hospital and deemed “a danger to himself and others,” lawmakers dusted off previously rejected legislation.

  powered by clipmarks blog it

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

So let’s see if I have this all straight.

1. Cho, Seung-Hui, the mad gunman of VT, had an e-bay account.
2. He used this account to bypass federal and state background check regulations.
3. The good folks at e-Bay had no obligation to assure that the gun supplies listed on the e-Bay website did not get sold to the wrong people.

Wow! Now that makes me feel safe and secure. So is Cho, a buyer that could not pass muster on Federal or State background checks could purchase weapons and weapon supplies (presumably because his name never hit the Federal background check data base) then what is to stop some Christian, Muslim or Jewish fanatic from using e-Bay as its gun dealer of choice?

I feel for y’all, who think the Second Amendment preserves the absolute right to unfettered gun ownership. I’ll bet you are the same folks that scream that our borders ought be better secured. Do you see the (dis)connection here? If we want more security we have to begin with the biggest hole in the bucket. Regulate guns and gun purchases. Make ammunition subject to the same constraints as the weapons themselves. Background checks are a small beginning. Social responsibility is the responsibility of all of us, each and every one of us. Now is the time to accept that responsibility. Secure our borders and stop the insane flow of guns into the hands of those who would misuse those weapons.

clipped from news.yahoo.com
Using the handle Blazers5505, Seung-Hui Cho bought two 10-round magazines for the Walther P22 — one of two handguns used in the massacre of 32 people. The clips were bought March 22 from a gun shop in Idaho.
“It’s apparent that he purchased the empty magazine clips,” eBay spokesman Hani Durzy said. “They’re similar to what could be purchased in any sporting goods store around the country.”

  powered by clipmarks blog it

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

clipped from www.reuters.com
HOUSTON (Reuters) – Workers evacuated a building at NASA’s Johnson Space Center and police surrounded it on Friday after reports that a man with a gun was spotted and shots were fired, authorities said.
NASA spokeswoman Brandi Dean said it was not known if anyone was hurt and Kelly Humphries, another spokesperson, said it was not yet known if there had indeed been gunshots.
The incident added to jitters across America after a student gunman killed 32 people Virginia Tech university, the in the worst shooting rampage in the nation’s modern history.

  powered by clipmarks blog it

When I was on the faculty at Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, I was taken aback when I signed my apartment lease. I was required to sign a rider to the standard lease that was effectively a promise to not discharge firearms within the limits of the apartment complex in which I rented my apartment. I was further stunned when I went to visit my internist for the first time. When I entered the professional building in which his office was housed a large sign in both English and Spanish warned me about carrying a weapon into the building. I thought, have I jumped into the rabbit hole?The American love affair with the gun and political points gained by supporting freedom to own guns leads to the probability that more and more of these kinds of incidents will occur in the United States unless we do something about it.

Keep up the foolhardy freedom for anyone to own a gun, to have poorly enforced background check legislation, and to not ban weapons whose only purpose is to cause death on a large scale and expect more headlines just like this one. But from me there will be no sympathetic cries nor will there be gnashing of my teeth. I will continue to feel ANGER, FRUSTRATION, HOSTILITY AND HELPLESSNESS and I will direct these emotions at the NRA and the gun lobby. I will work for politicians that support tough, enforceable gun control legislation at both state and national levels. I will continue to speak loudly and often about the absolute need for gun control legislation in the United States. I am mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

clipped from harpers.org
The leading newspaper in the Spanish-speaking world, Madrid’s El Pa’s, puts the blame squarely on the National Rifle Association and reproduces a photograph of Charlton Heston brandishing a rifle. “[C]ontrol measures,“ writes that paper, ”are systematically challenged by an abusive interpretation of the Second Amendment—which was written before there was a National Army or National Guard—says that, ‘A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep
and bear arms shall not be infringed.’”
In France, Le Monde calls the event a typically American tragedy, highlighting President Bush’s condolence message which incorporated a defense of firearms. “There is no reason to be shocked, since the American chief executive is supported by a party that in 2004 wentas far as refusing to re-approve the prohibition on sales of assault rifles put into place in 1994 by a Congress with a Democratic majority under Bill Clinton.”

  powered by clipmarks blog it

Read these couple of clips from the foreign press is a difficult task. The critique of our national response to the VT shootings, to the gun culture in general is disturbing. And these are our friends. Imagine what the enemies of the United States must think?I think it is shameful that in times of great tragedy our nation becomes the laughing stock for the rest of the world. My dear old grandmother used to mumble the following ethical pronouncement whenever she decided one had done something of which one ought not be proud, “What you did you did yourself and what you did yourself you are responsible for.” This was her translation from Polish and her grasp of English was not so hot, but the meaning was clear even to my ten year old ears when I first heard her speak these words. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTS, FOR YOUR ACTIONS. In my personal life I have honored those sentiments and granny has been gone nearly 30 years. When I read the international response to America as a Cowboy nation obsessed with guns I am ashamed to say that my country’s leaders fail to follow my grandmother’s advice.

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

So there are rules in place that scrupulous gun dealers are supposed to follow. The fact that state and federal background checks turned up no problems speaks volumes to the enforcement level of even the weakest gun laws in the known universe. This is extremely problematic. Not only are we loathe to pass gun regulation, but even the regulations on the books fail to be properly enforced. I guess the blame must fall on the executive branch of the government…that would be George W. Bush. Just one more area where George II is lacking both ethical and moral fortitude.

clipped from news.yahoo.com
McLEAN, Va. – A judge’s ruling on Cho Seung-Hui’s mental health should have barred him from purchasing the handguns he used in the Virginia Tech massacre, according to federal regulations. But it was unclear Thursday whether anybody had an obligation to inform federal authorities about Cho’s mental status because of loopholes in the law that governs background checks.
Cho purchased two handguns in February and March, and was subject to federal and state background checks both times. The checks turned up no problems, despite a judge’s ruling in December 2005 that Cho “presents an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness.”
“On the face of it, he should have been blocked under federal law,” said Denis Henigan, legal director of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

  powered by clipmarks blog it

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

Writing for the Associated Press (as reported by Yahoo News), Calvin Woodward reports:

Gun control has been treated with a mix of silence and discomfort in the presidential campaign, a stance that may become insupportable once the nation finds its voice in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech mass murder…

Enter the massacre at Blacksburg, Va., an attack so horrific it froze the presidential campaign in place. Candidates called off events and expressed only sorrow, not opinion, in the first hours.

Advocates of any stripe raised their gun agenda at their peril.

“I think that people who want to take this within 24 hours of the event and make it their political hobby horse to ride … I’ve got nothing but loathing for them,” Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said. “To those who want to try to make this into some little crusade, I say take that elsewhere.”

But the bloodiest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, with 33 dead, is certain to set off a debate that those who would be president can hardly sit out in the days and weeks ahead.

Read the whole article here. Of course I want to ask Virginia Gov. Kane where else would one take this “little” crusade?

Just a bit more to think about. As the world changes around us, where terror is a reality even in America, and not just from the vilified other coming in the guise of the Muslim fundamentalist…I mean, think of Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombings, the Columbine High School massacre, and now Virginia Tech…just perhaps it is time to think about the fact that the widespread proliferation of guns in our society has an overall negative effect on the security of our nation. Now that shouldn’t be too hard a thought to wrap one’s brains around.

“I think when a guy walks in and shoots 32 people it’s going to cause there to be a lot of policy debate,”President Bush said. “Now is not the time to do the debate until we’re actually certain about what happened and after we help people get over their grieving.”

If now is not the time for policy debate, Mr. President, then when? You claim it begins when people get over their grieving. Grieving is for the families of the dead, Mr. President, not for the rest of us. For the rest of us there is a significantly different set of emotions–ANGER, SHOCK, DISBELIEF, DISMAY–anything other than grief. It is only now, because that is all that is, that the debates can occur. Don’t run away from this one too, Mr. President.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Read Full Post »

Seed Newsvine

Reporting for Reuters, Andrea Hopkins writes:

By all accounts, the prayers started even before the gunshots stopped at Virginia Tech university, and the pleas to God from grief-stricken survivors of the massacre have continued ever since.

“God cares about Virginia Tech,” said Megan Martin, 24, joining about a dozen fellow students in a traveling prayer vigil that rambled across the sprawling campus a day after the worst U.S. shooting spree in modern history.

Carrying placards reading: “Jesus loves you,” “God knows and He cares,” and “Can we pray with you?” the small knot of students worked their way through the university grounds in Blacksburg, a Bible Belt town in the mountains of southwest Virginia.

I suppose turning to God(s) cannot do any serious harm to the individual that does the turning. The evidence, however, does not justify such a move. “God cares about Virginia Tech,” said Megan Martin, is quoted in the article. Is this God so cruel that he (she, it) only cares after the fact? Is this God(s) so indifferent that he (she, it) only takes an interest after the dastardly deed has been accomplished? God knows and He cares, is another after the fact fantasy that may serve to salve heightened emotions but does not address the fundamental issue–was this God who cares so much simply on vacation when Cho Seung-Hui decided to engage on a shooting rampage on the VT campus? Does the evidence point to a God(s) who cares, who knows? I think not. What the evidence points to is a random series of events that occur every so often because Americans are willing to sacrifice security for the right to bear arms for any purpose whatsoever. The evidence does not point to a loving God(s) but, rather, to a heightened probability that because guns are so readily available in the United States tragic events such as the VT shootings are more likely than not to occur.

While turning to God(s) is a defensive move in cases of unthinkable tragedy for many people, it seems to me that it is simply a misplaced use of human energy. Telling one’s self that God(s) really care, while that might have a temporary calming effect, does nothing to solve the problem that lies at the root of the VT shootings. Far more productive an approach is to focus the anger and frustration one feels in moments of unspeakable tragedy into efforts to place meaningful regulation on the ownership of weapons that have no other use than to cause permanent harm to those to whom the guns are directed. Gun nuts that demand no regulation of weapons spouting rights granted under the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States (A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,) must ask: to what militia did Cho Seung-Hui belong when he began his rampage? Why was Cho Seung-Hui permitted to purchase and own guns? Why do we put up with this cowboy mentality? Is life really imitating the wild west shootout of the movies?

Rather than turning to God(s) how about turning to Congress and demanding that your lawmakers do something to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. If you don’t then, it seems to me, that events like the VT shootings will surely occur over and over, again and again. One Italian journalist wrote that the VT shootings are as American as apple pie. It this the image America and Americans portray to the world? Is this the image we want to portray? It is time to stop the madness.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Read Full Post »

A White House spokesman said President Bush was horrified by the rampage and offered his prayers to the victims and the people of Virginia.

Now isn’t that nice of President Bush. I am sure the gunman was one of those gun nuts that rally around the NRA cry, “You can pry my gun out of my cold dead hand.” But that doesn’t do the victims of this rampage any good now, does it? Once again, the dead 32 point out the demented gun policy in these United States. Oh, but I forgot, Guns don’t kill people, people kill people! says the NRA. Actually PEOPLE WITH GUNS KILL PEOPLE–GENERALLY PEOPLE WITHOUT GUNS.

Mr. Bush, if you really want to leave a legacy you would support rigorously enforced gun control laws which would be a step in the direction of preventing tragedies like this one. Oh, but then you want to offer prayers. How sweet. Like the victims really care anymore.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Read Full Post »